Sedlmayr, Gabriel The Younger was a brewer who took over the reins of the Spaten Brewery of Munich, with his brother Josef, upon the death of his father, Gabriel Sedlmayr the Elder, in 1839. See sedlmayr, gabriel the elder. The two brothers inherited their father’s innovative zeal and, over the next few years, modernized the brewery at the same pace as their father had done before them. In 1844, Spaten became the first brewery outside England to adopt steam power. A year later, Gabriel bought out his brother and became the sole proprietor of Spaten, which would continue to be a center of brewing innovation. Already during his student days, Gabriel had been an innovator. As part of the requirement for his Master Diploma, young Gabriel embarked upon an extensive grand tour of noted European brewing centers in the early 1830s. On one of his trips, he met fellow brewer Anton Dreher, whose mother owned a small brewery in Klein-Schwechat, just outside Vienna. The meeting, in 1832, marked the beginning of a life-long friendship and business association. See dreher, anton and vienna lager. The two travelers visited Great Britain in 1833 to learn more about fermentation—and engaged in what can only be described as a classic case of industrial espionage. By using a specially modified hollow walking cane, they furtively gathered wort and beer samples during their brewery visits und subsequently analyzed them in their hotel. They put the data thus collected to good use after they had returned home by developing two new malts and two new beer styles: Dreher came up with Vienna malt and Vienna lager; Sedlmayr invented Munich malt and märzen beer. See märzenbier and munich malt.
In those days it was difficult to brew lagers in the summer; the hot central European climate was inhospitable to brewing in general and lager brewing in particular. Brewers used ice blocks cut from frozen lakes and ponds in the winter and stored them underground for use as coolant in the summer. This was costly and inefficient. So Sedlmayr looked around for a technological solution, which he found in the work of a young Munich engineering professor, Carl Linde. See linde, carl von. Linde had been tinkering with refrigeration machines, and in 1873, Sedlmayr persuaded Linde to install one of his experimental devices in the Spaten fermentation and lagering cellars. This was, as best as anybody knows, the first time that mechanical refrigeration had been used in a brewery, and Spaten was from then on uniquely equipped to brew bottom-fermented beer reliably year-round. With this new technology in place, Spaten had become the largest of the Munich breweries. Spaten’s superb lager-making ability allowed it to experiment with ever more delicate brews, especially one that could compete with the rising popularity of the Bohemian pilsner from just east of the Bavarian border. The result was the introduction, in 1894, of a straw blond beer, the delicate lager that was to become the signature brew for Bavarian beer garden and beer hall lagers for the next century, the Helles.See also helles.